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‘Frailty’ is a condition that we know can affect people as they get older and means people can be weaker and more vulnerable than they used to be.

Things that suggest a person may be frail include:

  • Difficulty getting about – slow walking, using a stick or frame
  • Recent or recurrent falls
  • Being confused
  • Needing help to do everyday tasks

This study aims to determine if it is possible to accurately assess frailty in the Emergency Department (ED) in patients aged 65 or more admitted with major trauma. We are doing this because we do not currently know how common frailty is in the UK major trauma population or whether it is feasible to carry out early frailty assessment in the ED in this patient group. This early identification could lead to improved pathways of care that positively impact on health and longer term recovery.

We also hope to find out if there is a particular measurement tool for frailty in major trauma that more accurately identifies if a patient is frail in the ED. Lastly, we would like to find out about what happens to older patients who are admitted to hospital as a result of trauma, and to see how their recovery is progressing 6 months after discharge.

This study is now closed to recruitment

Associated papers

Study protocol paper (BMJ Open)

Trauma Specific Frailty Index: Joseph B, Pandit V, Zangbar B, et al. Validating trauma-specific frailty index for geriatric trauma patients: a prospective analysis. J Am Coll Surg 2014;219:10–17

PRISMA7 paper: Raîche M, Hébert R, Dubois M-F. PRISMA-7: a case-finding tool
to identify older adults with moderate to severe disabilities. Arch Gerontol Geriatr 2008;47:9–18

Clinical Frailty Scale paper: Rockwood K, Song X, MacKnight C, et al. A global clinical measure of fitness and frailty in elderly people. CMAJ 2005;173:489–95.

Study team

Professor Heather Jarman (St George’s)

Professor Robert Crouch (University Hospitals Southampton)

Dr Mark Baxter (University Hospitals Southampton)

Dr Elaine Cole (London Trauma System)

Study coordinator:

Bebhinn Dillane (St George’s)


FRAILT study sites
Imperial, St Mary's HospitalKing's College, LondonBart's Health, Royal London HospitalSt George's HospitalUniversity Hospitals Southampton
Dr George PeckDr Cara JenningsDr Dhanupriya Sivapathasuntharam
Dr Rhonda SturleyAnneka Appleton
Louise YoungJane TippettImogen SkeneMaria CappellettoLauren Green
Heather McLachlanHannah CottonRaine Astin-Chamberlain
ED Research TeamED Research Team
NET Research TeamACET Research TeamED Research Team